Courts & Crime

Feds: Huge Fresno home built on ID theft

The house sits half-finished, a would-be dream home nestled in a subdivision of country estates five miles east of Fresno.

For three years, Alfred Ford and his wife, Renatta Carter-Ford -- at the time, a federal court employee -- worked on the house, a sprawling 5,500 square-foot home on two acres in the upscale neighborhood. An iron fence stretches across the front of the property, with the letters 'A' and 'R' decorating the two entrance gates.

Federal authorities allege that Alfred Ford built the home using materials bought with stolen credit cards and labor provided by people who owed him drug money. He is in Fresno County Jail on multiple identity theft and wire fraud charges.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Fresno is trying to seize the property at 11880 East Harvard Ave. in a rural area near Bethel and Clinton avenues.

The land is owned by Renatta Carter-Ford. After the charges were filed against Alfred Ford, she left her job as clerk in jury services at the federal courthouse in Fresno. Eastern District officials would only confirm that she is no longer employed with the court. Renatta Carter-Ford has not been charged with any crimes.

Gary Huss, the attorney representing Alfred Ford, said the charges are bogus, cooked up by federal law enforcement officials who were angry after Ford was acquitted in 2006 of drug dealing charges.

"He hasn't gotten into any trouble for over 15 years," Huss said.

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